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Looking for Peyton Place    by Barbara Delinsky order for
Looking for Peyton Place
by Barbara Delinsky
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

The people of Middle River always thought they were the model for the 50s book, Peyton Place, whose characters could be traced to people living in their town. Annie Barnes grew up in Middle River admiring the novel's author, Grace Metalious. Annie believed she could have been the granddaughter of Constance in the book. Her childhood was unhappy and Grace became her idol and muse. As an adult, Annie made her home in Washington DC. She became a successful writer, seldom returning to Middle River.

When Annie's mother dies at an early age from a fall down the stairs, Annie has questions; questions that the local doctor refuses to answer. When Annie returns home to Middle River to investigate her mother's death, she is not welcomed. She discovers that her mother had been ill a long time, and that her sister Phoebe suffers the same symptoms. Annie believes the cause can be traced to Northwood Mill. But everyone in town depends on the mill for their livelihood. People in Middle River are suspicious of Annie. They believe she's returned to write a book, revealing all their secrets. And they have many secrets.

Everywhere Annie turns, someone obstructs her investigations. She also learns more than she wants to know about the town's prominent citizens. Annie fights the mill alone, not for a book subject, but to save the children of Middle River. And Annie discovers a lot about herself and her family in her journey. In Looking for Peyton Place, Delinsky delivers a novel that's absorbing both in plot and character.

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